The inaugural season of the Premier Handball League (PHL) will commence at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on December 24. The tournament will go on till January 10, 2021, with six franchises competing to win the coveted title.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Telangana are the states the six teams will be representing. The organizers had planned to have two Asians and one European player in each squad. Unfortunately, because of the travel restrictions, the franchises will be able to sign only Indian players for this season.
"We have close to 80,000 registered players playing the game in India. This is a huge number considering the presence of the sport in India. Handball is an Olympic sport and India is looked as the next big thing by international federations in terms of talent and opportunities. I feel PHL has come at the right time which will help us in our mission for Olympics and build impact of the sport in India," HFI Vice President Anandeshwar Pandey said.
The tournament will have 30 league games, with the top four teams progressing to the knockout stage. The Sawai Man Singh Stadium will host all fixtures of the Premier Handball League.
Over 80 Indian handball players to compete in PHL 2020-21
Telangana Tigers, UP Icons, Maharashtra Handball Hustlers, KingHawks Rajasthan, Bengal Blues, and Punjab Pitbulls are the names of the six teams that will participate in PHL 2020-21. Sony Pictures Sports Network has secured the broadcasting rights for this competition, whereas FanCode will stream the matches online.
"It is always an exciting prospect to create a platform for athletes and be enablers in a wider scheme of things wherein the dream is to ensure our athletes making our nation proud at the Olympics," PHL Promoter Aseem Merchant stated.
The primary goal of PHL is to take handball to the next level in India. Handball Federation of India (HFI), International Handball Federation, and Asian Handball Federation are also associated with this competition, aiming to develop the World No. 32 Indian handball team.